How To Control The Cost Of Your Life Insurance
When it comes to purchasing life insurance, most agents will tell you the earlier you do it in life, the better. It definitely makes sense. At a younger age, you’re less likely to have experienced health issues requiring major medical attention, and so that means you are less of a risk. However, there may still be some things you are doing to hurt your chances for the best rate possible. Lifestyle choices like the following may, in fact, play a major role.
Your Driving History
While insurance companies generally offer discounts for bundling life and auto, there is a reason they can do this. By being able to see how good of a driver you are, they can determine how much of a health risk you’ll be out on the roadways. Since we spend so much of our lives behind the wheel, traveling to and from work, running errands, and taking the occasional vacation, the risk of an accident increases with every mile. If you demonstrate responsible behaviors behind the wheel, then you’re likely to do the same in other aspects of your life.
The health hazards of smoking are well-documented, and have been since the 1960s. As a country, we’ve taken initiative towards better health by making it more difficult and costly to purchase cigarettes. Still, it’s a billion-dollar industry, which means there remain a lot of people out there who haven’t kicked the habit. With each puff, you’re increasing the odds of emphysema and other serious health problems. This means that health-wise, you’re a pretty big risk, and so it’s hard to justify insuring you, especially under optimum rates. Thankfully, there are many quitting aids out there, and if you can get the problem under control now rather than later, you may still be able to salvage your insurability as far as life policies are concerned.
You may think that alcohol addiction, or even higher-than-frequent alcohol use, is hard to detect, but you’d be wrong. And before an insurer offers you an optimum rate, they’re going to do their homework. Most will have medical testing done to check for increased levels of liver enzymes that are common to high alcohol consumption. But just what constitutes “high consumption”? Are you doomed to a life of being a “tee-totaler”? The answer: an occasional glass of wine or beer probably won’t have an effect. Daily use, however, is another story entirely.
Your Spare Time
If you’ve ever answered the questions for insurability, you’ve probably noticed that they ask about your recreational activities. They’re not trying to get good ideas for a birthday present. No, they want to know if you’re engaging in activities outside of smoking, alcohol, and drug use, that carries with it a high risk of death. Think bungee jumping, skydiving, zip-lining, mountain climbing, etc. When you regularly engage in activities that could bring death with one false move or simple mistake, an insurer will be nervous about giving you coverage, at least at the best available rates.
Your Personal Health
Sometimes your personal health is beyond your control; often times, it isn’t. By taking proactive steps toward a healthy life — walking 5,000 to 10,000 steps per day, working out, eating right, etc., you can give your body the best chance of fighting off infectious and terminal diseases. If you have a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, you’re more likely to develop killers like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease — all extremely expensive ailments insurers have to consider when determining your final rating.
Life insurance is one of the most valuable assets you can have. Not only will it protect your loved ones should anything happen to you, but it can also build cash value over time, offering a little extra help towards retirement. But eligibility and affordability are not guarantees. To attain the best protection possible, make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to lower risk factors.